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Cheers! Re-use a Shropshire brewery's (empty) beer kegs

A south Shropshire brewery is asking customers to turn their popular party kegs into planters for the return of the town’s carnival.

Ludlow Fringe Festival managing director Anita Bigsby, and Jess Laurie, education and community coordinator
Ludlow Fringe Festival managing director Anita Bigsby, and Jess Laurie, education and community coordinator

Ludlow Brewery has launched its “Beer Kegs In Bloom” competition in partnership with Ludlow Fringe Festival – organisers of an eco-carnival next Saturday to celebrate its 10th anniversary – and Ludlow Plant Centre, who are sponsoring a prize.

The five litre (nine pint) mini kegs, dubbed the party keg, are part of the brewery’s takeout range of containers for parties, BBQs and events – and can be filled with any of the core range of real ales and craft beers available at the brewery an taproom based in Station Drive, Ludlow.

Made of metal, the tins are recyclable, and can be put out with the rest of household recycling once the contents are consumed. But as recycling is an energy consuming process, reusing the mini keg as a planter makes it a better choice for the environment.

Samantha Howells, the brewery marketing manager, said: "The idea for the competition was actually inspired by our customers during lockdowns.

“We were sent photos of mini-kegs which had been planted up with flowers and put in people’s gardens on their patios, or even turned into hanging ‘baskets’; it was lovely to see the containers being reused in such a creative way.

“We were excited to launch the competition to be involved in the return of the town’s carnival, which has been a community-wide project and has a wonderful twist – rejecting fossil fuels and being a people and pedal or horse powered parade.

"This event is very much in keeping with our ethos, which is to minimise our environmental footprint, wherever possible; while being a small sustainable business that is at the heart of the community.”

Jess Laurie, Ludlow Fringe Festival’s education and community coordinator, said: “This year we are launching the festival with an Eco Carnival, a vibrant community event with the theme of ‘Our Beautiful Earth’, this people and pedal powered procession will depart Ludlow Brewery at 2.30pm on Saturday June 18 and finish in Events Square where a garden installation will be waiting.

"The garden will be made up of hundreds of flowers; some made by local knit and natter groups, some giant recycled plastic daisies and others made by local children - it will be lovely to have the kegs in bloom on display too.”

The tops of the mini keg containers need to be cut out before they can be planted.

Ludlow Brewery recommends that only people with experience of power tools / jigsaws attempt this procedure.

There are several already “prepared” to be planted up, available for collection from the brewery; just call in at the brewery and ask for a mini keg to enter the competition.

The competition ends on Wednesday June 15; photos of entries should be emailed to marketing@theludlowbrewingcompany.co.uk or sent via Direct Message on their social media channels. Competition details can be found on the website www.theludlowbrewingcompany.co.uk/news or on Facebook @ludlow.brewery.

The brewery and Ludlow Fringe would be delighted if competition entrants could make their planters available for display in Events Square.

The Fringe trailer will be parked in front of Ludlow College on the Market Square from Carnival Day during the duration of Ludlow Fringe Festival (Saturday June 18 – July 10).

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